Project Nature

Project Nature, an initiative of BestStart Washington, is launching Winter 2017/2018. This project is designed to empower families and caregivers to explore nature with children. Project Nature will enable physicians and community organizations to increase family access to nature through direct contacts, e-resources, and social media. Project Nature targets families with the greatest need.

We Know That

The earlier children explore nature, the greater the effects. Time spent outdoors increases children’s physical activity, health, school achievement and overall well-being. Young children allowed to explore nature and encouraged to interact with the natural world have a greater preference for outdoor occupations and better knowledge of biodiversity as adolescents. Even brief, regular exposure to the natural world can have long lasting effects on a child’s interest in science and support of the environment. Today babies and young children are often kept indoors, shuttled by car or bus from home, to child care, to home and bed each night.

Children who experience nature are healthier, grow up more supportive of natural settings and more likely to pursue STEM-related careers. Not all children and families spend time in nature—there are many barriers and disadvantaged families often have more barriers than others.

If you are interested in becoming a partner and sharing your resources and activities related to time spent outdoors and to nature, please contact Edna Maddalena at edna@beststartwa.org